Monday, July 11, 2011


Sometimes State Flags...

1. Sometimes state flags run out of red marker before they're finished. (Tennessee)

2. Sometimes state flags have aspirations of being limited edition vinyl release indie rock album covers. (California)

3. Sometimes state flags try to do too much. (Oregon, front and back)

4. Sometimes state flags don’t try to do enough. (North Carolina)

5. Sometimes state flags practican el Español. (Montana)

6.Sometimes state flags do this ironically. (Wyoming)

7. Sometimes state flags look like Chinatown knock-offs of other flags. (Hawaii)

8.Sometimes state flags experiment with Islam. (South Carolina)

9. Sometimes state flags take things too literally. (Washington)

10. Sometimes state flags wish they’d gone to a prep school. (Nevada)

11. Sometimes state flags wish they were superheroes. (Arizona)

12.Sometimes state flags thought you said “space flags.” (Alaska)

13. Sometimes state flags are dropping a lot of hints that they want you to ask about that cruise they took to Puerto Rico. (Texas)

14. Sometimes state flags just bought this tanktop from Urban Outfitters, do you like it? (New Mexico)

15. Sometimes state flags are really badass. (Oklahoma)

16. Sometimes state flags are really sweet. (Rhode Island)

17. Sometimes state flags combine pelicans with vampirism. (Louisiana)

18. Sometimes state flags only came to this party because they thought you would have Pinot Grigio. (Connecticut)

19. Sometimes state flags “work it” and “throw shade.” (Delaware)

20. Sometimes state flags honor the forgotten sixth Spice Girl, Circum Spice. (Michigan)

21. Sometimes state flags honor murderous severed limbs. (Massachusetts)

22. Sometimes state flags don’t make effective use of their space, due to low self-esteem. (Idaho)

23. Sometimes state flags put the longest word upside down. (Illinois)

24. Sometimes state flags were so excited to use up their gold star stickers, they forgot what they were doing. (Indiana)

25. Sometimes state flags are avec serifs. (Iowa)

26. Sometimes state flags lack ambition. (North Dakota)

27. Sometimes state flags just want to be gently caressed by a bear. (Missouri)

28. Sometimes state flags just want to be gently caressed by a bro. (Kentucky)

29. Sometimes state flags are keeping it casual. (Maine)

30. Sometimes state flags hurt to look at. (Maryland)

31. Sometimes state flags look like images that cannot be displayed. (Alabama)

32. Sometimes state flags are so glad you called on Alabama first. (Florida)

33. Sometimes state flags look like reverse shadow optical illusions. (Nebraska)

34. Sometimes state flags just finished watching Ken Burns’ The Civil War. (Mississippi)

35. Sometimes state flags take a lot of tries to get it right.  (Georgia — this is its eighth)

36. Sometimes state flags oversell. (Minnesota)

37. Sometimes state flags undersell. (Colorado)

38. Sometimes state flags sail their ships by land. (New Hampshire)

39. Sometimes state flags wake to find the severed head of their prized racehorse in bed with them. (New Jersey)

40. Sometimes state flags advocate weaponry for the blind. (New York)

41. Sometimes state flags added a sunflower at the last minute. (Kansas)

42. Sometimes state flags tell rather than show. (South Dakota)

43. Sometimes state flags feature prancing ponies. (Pennsylvania)

44. Sometimes when state flags were being cut, the tailor accidentally started snipping along a diagonal and then it was too late to fix it so he just decided to just embrace this accident and hope no one noticed but then everyone noticed. (Ohio)

45. Sometimes state flags name drop. (Arkansas)

46. Sometimes state flags are just so Vermont. (Vermont)

47. Sometimes state flags are surprisingly good at wrestling. (Virginia)

48. Sometimes state flags have lovely feminine touches. (West Virginia)

49. Sometimes state flags are brought to you by Arm & Hammer Baking Soda. (Wisconsin)

50. Sometimes state flags were designed by bees. (Utah)

Caity Weaver just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Linguistics. She is an asset to any quizzo team.

138 Comments / Post A Comment

sorry your heinous

I'm sorry, but Maryland's flag is goddamn awesome.


@sorry your heinous You're not wrong.

girl wearing glasses

@sorry your heinous i also thought maryland's flag looked like the flag people wave when a race car flies past the finish line. OR one of the knight's of the round table flags.


@sorry your heinous If you look at it long enough, it turns into a 3D magic eye puzzle. I think I see a sailboat.

RK Fire

@sorry your heinous Maryland: fuck yeah!


as a Marylander, I can attest it was pretty fun to draw in elementary school.

young preeezy

@sorry your heinous Word! And not as weirdly violent as VA's flag.

Elle Destree@twitter

@isavedlatin As an Illinoisan, I can attest it was horribly not fun to draw our flag in elementary school.


@girl wearing glasses I think that either the racecar image or the knights of the round table image makes it AWESOME.


@Elle Destree@twitter Though as a fellow Illinoisan, I can attest that it actually looks kind of great flying at city hall or whatever. Eagle standing on rock is fearsome, I love him.

Pound of Salt

@girl wearing glasses haha I was just thinking it's like a dark ages car race!

girl wearing glasses

@causedbycomma @Pound of Salt yes....i am definitely implying it is awesome. it's why i love driving on i-95. they have shrubbery that creates a giant maryland flag on the underpasses. i simultaneously pretend i am driving a race car and going on a journey through the middle ages as a knight. each made more impressive by the fact that there aren't a lot of women knights or race car drivers. and then i think of how important it is for me to be a role model to other imaginary female knights and drivers.
(then i have to rewind my book on tape because i totally missed that last chapter.)


@Elle Destree@twitter As another fellow Illinoisan, I can attest that I did not think my first "oh crap, I know that person" moment on the internets would come in a comment related to how awful it was to draw that damn eagle. But, alas, here we are. Hough Street Hawks forever.


@sorry your heinous I scrolled down just to see what she would say about Maryland's flag. Lame comment. Bad-ass flag. Awesome state.


@sorry your heinous I'm from Maryland and I LOVE our flag! I'm willing to forgive the author, as she also is a linguistic-turned-internet-writer like myself. We gotta stick together with our intriguing, albeit impractical degrees.


Yup. Fantastic@t


One Halloween, I dressed up as the personification of Prosperity from the New Jersey state flag. Two-shaded toga, wig, laurel wreath, cornucopia, the whole nine. Pic will be on my tumblr as soon as I can find it.

Hot mayonnaise

@boyofdestiny: on purpose?


@Hot mayonnaise You're damn right it was on purpose! That's probably my favorite Halloween costume ever.

sorry your heinous

@boyofdestiny Oh, boy... so funny

Lily Rowan

@boyofdestiny Did....other people know what you were dressed as?

Hot mayonnaise

@boyofdestiny: hahaha. Did you carry around a copy of the flag to show people?


@Hot mayonnaise Somehow the stickers on the fruit add layers to the meaning. Seriously though, nice work BOD! That is awesome.


@boyofdestiny you are fantastic. hilarious!


@Hot mayonnaise You can't see, but yes, there's a flag jammed under all that fruit.


I want to sex this post under an ill-cut flag.


Ohio's flag is perfect


@whoaisme I know, right? I couldn't remember what it looked like and thought it would be douchey but it was excellent! (I'm not feeling too good about this state right now, what with Kasich as governor and the frikkin' "heartbeat bill" and SB5 and all)

A. Louise

@whoaisme a lot of things about Ohio are whack but our flag is certainly not one of them


My midwestern sensibilities think some of these flags are too flashy and the states should stop bragging and get a more modest flag.

Also: #36 is wrong.

Katie Heaney

@parallel-lines YES. although, really, nobody brags on their home state more than Minnesotans (rightfully so, obviously).


@Katie Heaney It's the only thing we aren't humble about.


@Katie Heaney Word. I am proudly known as "The Minnesotan" whenever amongst a trans-American crowd. No one else is referred to by their home state...

Now please excuse me while I go blast "Say Shh" by atmosphere.




@causedbycomma Not a state/we have the best flag anyway. Makes a great tattoo! Easy to modify & convert to logos! Just cool!


@julia YES. Best flag. Also, I feel like this is a good a place as any to request another DC meetup. Please? I missed the last one.


Indiana confuses me and everyone should heed Alabama's warning. Of course, Texas is Teh Awesome.


I never made the connection between my native flag and an indie album but jeez, you are so right. Thought I have heard (probably apocryphal) stories that it was supposed to be a pear instead of a bear and someone misheard?? Has anyone else even heard this probable myth?


@martinipie I'm pretty sure it was always a bear, given that there was a "Bear Flag Rebellion." I only know this because California is the only state other than my home state of Texas that was ever an independent country. However, California only managed it for 26 days, whereas the Republic of Texas existed for just shy of 10 years.


@AngerMonkey@twitter Somehow it does not surprise me it only managed 26 days. Way to go, home state! Keep drinkin' that wine!


@AngerMonkey@twitter Have to object to this statement on the behalf of Hawaii, which was not only an independent country but a kingdom! (Psst, Hawaii is the most awesome, plus we have sea turtles. /bragging)


@Hella OH, yes, that's true. I always forget about Hawaii being it's own country for practically, you know, FOR EVER.


Knowing how Tennessee runs itself, it was probably the blue marker they ran out of.


Sometimes Caity Weaver is awesome and perfect.


I almost snorted my pinot grigio through my nose when I read Connecticut.

elysian fields

re: Louisiana: in case you guys didn't know, the pelican was once thought to nurture its young by stabbing itself in the chest and letting the baby pelicans drink its blood, if no other food was available. As a result of this belief, the pelican has been used in history as a symbol of Christ. #iamabignerd


@elysian fields In fact, they changed the flag last year to add three drops of blood.


@elysian fields Best hashtag evahhh.


@alpelican According to the article,they also made the bird "more sophisticated." Which is arguably true.


I'm sorry*, I'm from Texas and have to point out that the Texas Flag was created in 1838, and the Puerto Rico flag was created in 1868, so technically Puerto Rico wants you to ask about their awesome trip to Texas.

*I'm apologizing because we are nutjobs and sometimes feel a certain amount of guilt over our "TEXAS IS AWESOME" kneejerk pride.

RK Fire

@RosemaryF: The Chilean flag, which was create in 1817, would like to have a talk with both the Texan and Puerto Rican flag.


@RK Fire THank you! I knew there was another country that we stole from, but I couldn't pin it down & suck at google searching!

I'm Not Rufus

@RosemaryF http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MICn6ufzHUs#t=1m46s

I hear they spend more time teaching Texas history in schools there than either American history or world history?

RK Fire

@RosemaryF: Honestly, the only reason why I know this is because I went to Chile to attend a wedding/have an awesome time (talk about a destination wedding ;P) and found myself confused as to why the Chilean flag looked so much the Texas flag.


@I'm Not Rufus I live in TX, and we had lots of Texas history in Elementary school and then one required year of it in 7th grade. After that, it was all World History and World Geography. I think the culture of Texas turns you into a Texas history nerd if you're from here. I had a Yankee friend who moved to my town in 11th grade and she thought the slogan "Don't Mess With Texas" was HILARIOUS. She said to me, "Don't you see how ridiculous that is? What if Vermont had a flag that said "DONT MESS WITH VERMONT!" She also used to think everyone wearing a cowboy hat was in costume.


@ShamelaAndrews At first I'd be like "well, of course you wouldn't say that because Vermont is wimpy and not threatening!" But they do have alot of guns in Vermont, so maybe they're scarier than you'd think. Don't mess with Texas isn't ridiculous because Texas will fuck you up! We will execute any criminal for any reason (not proud of it, but still, threatening) and Texas was it's own country at one time, which is totally badass. Yankees be trippin'.

irrationally proud Texan

Bus Driver Stu Benedict

@ShamelaAndrews Grade school history in California is nothing but Missions and the Gold Rush.


@ShamelaAndrews: I thought "Don't mess with Texas" was from an anti-littering campaign?

Don't mind me, I'm the Ontarian standing over in the corner, secretly jealous because our flag just has a boring shield with boring LEAVES on it.


@clairedelune Correct! People seem to think it's the state motto or something, but it's telling people to keep the state tidy. Actual motto? Friendship. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/symbols.html

I'm Not Rufus

@Butterscotch Stalin I grew up in Illinois, where we had almost no state history education, or state pride generally. Maybe you guys could send some over in that general direction?


@RosemaryF: Friendship? Texas, you're adorable!


@clairedelune Yeah, what's with you Canadians and leaves, anyway?


@clairedelune It IS an anti-littering campaign thing, but has generally boiled over to t-shirts, bumper stickers, koozies, and other generally bad ass tourist gear. It is an unofficial motto of sorts. And put in the context of "We will execute any criminal for any reason.", it DOES have a certain charm.


@I'm Not Rufus They spend two years on Texas history throughout the 12 total, but they purposely make it more awesome-sounding and memorable. [Can't get the state song out of my head; routinely sing it while doing laundry.]


@I'm Not Rufus True fact; in VA (at least when I was a kiddo) 4th grade was entirely VA history, and we even SKIPPED the Presidents who weren't from VA. My mom was like "just so you know, there was this Prez in there, John Adams, you should probably know about him, even though he wasn't from VA"... haha.

Lee Benson@facebook

@RosemaryF Well, the word Texas derives from an Indian word teyshas which means friends, so it makes sense.


@RK Fire even state officials can't get it right..


i think there was also a Texas police station which had the Chilean flag hanging from their flag pole for months before someone pointed it out. can't seem to find the article though..


@shantasybaby "Texas was it's own country at one time, which is totally badass. Yankees be trippin'."

You idiot - fact check your history first - Vermont was an independent country BEFORE Texas...and for 14 years. Vermonters were a major role player in kick-starting the Revolutionary War by invading For Ticonderoga in the middle of the night and later on stealing the canon out of it in winter so they could move them across the lake.

Early settlers moved up there alone and built houses without help. They often spent the winters shoesless - because they didn't like shoes. Vermont is the Chuck Norris of states. Everyone forgets about it but it's normally more bad-ass than anyother state out there - including Texas.


I think an actual indie band, that one where the lead singer is Jason Schwartzman's younger brother, did use the California flag as its album cover.

I also like how many of the Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic flags are more likely to end up on the crest of some old dude's smoking jacket (Excelsior! Sic Semper Tyrannis!), while a few of the Southwest/West Coast flags are more likely to end up as decorative jerseys for ironic kickball teams.


@applestoapples The band is Rooney, and yes, yes they did. It was the first thing I thought of.


@Lillian and Rooney's lead dude played the love interest in the Princess Diaries movie! which MAYBE my friends and I had a "sisterhood of the traveling copy of The Princess Diaries" (book, complete with our evolving annotations) going, slightly past the age where it would make sense for us.


Haha, I DID just buy a New Mexico T-shirt from Urban Outfitters BUT it was on sale AND I am actually from there! But seriously... hahaha.


What is wrong with North Carolina's flag?!? I love that one!


@shenannies I thought it was an islamic thing for years, my excuse is I'm not from here.


@dabbyfanny - you're thinking SC #southerner


@allifer shit! *face turns pink, hangs head, shambles off into the corner*

RK Fire

Colorado's flag: is it pacman with a really large cheek or a graphic design student's first pass at a modern state flag?


@RK Fire what drives me nuts about the colorado flag is that it would look so much cooler if the red part of the C lined up with the white stripe (so it was less "we put a big C in the middle of our flag," and more "look how our cool grpahic design evokes the letter C")...then it would be a B+ graphics project instead of the C- it currently is.


@Ophelia And, and, OR if the yellow dot in the middle was bigger so it overlapped into the red, it would give more continuity with the other bit that isn't lined up and it wouldn't look like quite such a screw up.


We used to always ask kids at the camp I worked at to find the beaver on our state flag. 100% of the time they never could until we flipped it over. Educating kids and laughing at them at the same time: The Oregon Way!

fondue with cheddar

@sbizzle How is Oregon's flag like doggy style? You have to flip it over to find the beaver.

Lily Rowan

@jen325 OMG, that made me laugh so hard that the good news is, it was silent.


@jen325 Oh god I hope this is a joke Pacific Northwesterners actually tell each other.

fondue with cheddar

@Pixley Beats me; I'm from the Northeast. But they SHOULD.


@Pixley Don't worry, we're about to start. Immediately.


@Pixley No. All the Beaver jokes I tell are derogatory. Ba-zing! Oregon flag forever!


Am I the only one who had to look up "throw shade" on Urban Dic?


@amity Nope!


Sometimes Georgia wants to do the right thing and stop having an offensive, racist flag but refuses to do so for a long, long time because they don't want to admit they were being offensive and racist to begin with.
Sometimes Mississippi is still in denial!


@allthecuteshit What's great is how many people are still pissed that the flag changed and will never forgive former Gov Roy Barnes for it. Ever. Ever.


C'mon guys! We're not landlocked, we have coastline! 18 miles of it!

- Everyone from New Hampshire, ever.

sorry your heinous

@alouette <3 you Portsmouth


Michigan's flag is like the house in the neighborhood that puts up some topiary and fancy statues in the front lawn and all the neighbors get drunk and gripe, "Oh, they think they are soooo fancy with all that spendy junk in the front yard, but in the back yard it's all U.P."


Where do you quizzo? I typically go to National Mechanics and have tried Rembrandts but I'm looking for something more local.


California rules. The end.


@daylightspool This is all I logged in to say. None these flags can TOUCH us.


The best thing about the Michigan flag is that the Latin on it translates to "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you." I still think California's flag is the best, though I may be biased.


@schadenfraulein Kansas: "If you desire much corn, you have found it."
Vermont: "If you would like some green mountains, they are here."
Arizona: "Looking for a grand canyon? Look down."

cholla cholla

@schadenfraulein I mostly appreciate the little dude waving "holla!", from what I assume is a pleasant peninsula.

I'm Not Rufus

@xx-xx-xx Maine: "Sorry, I forgot you didn't like trees."


@xx-xx-xx wheat not corn! You are thinking of Nebraska.

lavender gooms

Seeing Rhode Island referred to as sweet is definitely a first. Aw.


@lavender gooms i assumed my home state would have had an anchor tattoo/popeye/OMG your state is so tiny quip.


@becky@twitter, I love our flag! Everyone I know from here agrees it would make a sweet tattoo. Also: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3427/3775882181_b1b7aef4a1.jpg


@E that shirt is amazing. my friend has a tattoo of a tiny autocrat coffee syrup bottle incorporated into his sleeve.


@becky@twitter Autocrat! Coffee Milk! Bubblahs! Ny System! Quahog! Johnny Cakes! Little Necks! Is our culture basically all food and mob activity? I guess so. Sweet corn! Long Live RI! (I'm stuck in SoCal for the forseeable future).


@E i'm in boston and no one here knows what a clam cake is. they're all, "like a frittah?"

sweet corn! oh man. now i want to drive to morris farm and get a del's for the ride home.

i grew up in warwick (or warrik as my family calls it).


A. Prancing ponies! B. Linguistics! Tell me now, did you or did you not discover that a linguistics degree is even more impractical than any other social science degree, because I'm totally feeling that with my own (degree in Linguistics). But at least you got to work with Labov maybe? Who isn't as on his game as he used to be but whatever, because vowels are awesome.


@dinoterror What? Linguistics degrees aren't practical? TELL THAT TO MY JOB AT WHOLE FOODS. You can hear the Northern Cities shift really well in Union Square.


@dinoterror Hey, I use my Linguistics degree all the time! when I kill time at work reading Language Log...


@Hella @mollyringworm Hey, mine comes in totally handy when I'm waiting tables. Sometimes I don't want to answer questions and it's super useful knowing that 'do you have ANY questions' vs SOME means I'm gonna get less requests for info. Also alienating my coworkers cause when I try to tell them my strategy based on Actual Research they're all, "bitch, please, I'm just mean as shit and they don't want nothing". And then I'm all, "Hey cool, double negatives in the wild! Let me record this..."

cory dodt@twitter

No love for the Washington DC flag?

Sometimes flags just want to remind everyone of their high score in Frogger.


Thanks to their road signs, it's completely impossible for me to drive on Washington's interstates without ending up with this stuck in my head.


Oklahoma's flag has been called a lot of things, but I believe this is the first time it's been called "badass." Although "its symbols of peace unite all people," according to the salute we said every day of elementary school.


@lynbird Was that the marketing pitch they used to get all the Cherokee to move there? Oh.


Oh man, I just figured out that Oregon doesn't have two different flags, I just wasn't taking the time to look at the other side of flagpoles. Thank you.


Oh what the fuck. I've lived in kansas for 23 years and I have never seen a flag with a sunflower above the seal. I just googled it and all of them have it. I am so confused!


I think Tennessee has the most gorgeous flag. (Obvs, that's why we got to be first on the list)


Louisiana has the most beautiful flag!

A. Lee@twitter

Living in Maryland for so long, I don't think I ever truly realized just how bad the other states have it. We should start a relief fund.


Yes, New Mexico, I do like it.

Jim Tarvin@facebook

You know why Florida and Alabama's state flags have a big X on em?
so the people there can learn how to sign thier names.

Marcel C. Stratton@facebook

None of you really know "UGLY" until you know Minnesota's
State flag. We are trying to promote a new design change.
A couple of other state's residents are doing similar efforts.
At least twenty (20) other U.S. state flags need re-designing.
Why don't YOU be the ones to propose new, updated, easy-to-look-at respectable symbols where you live?
Look on the Internet for < NAVA > or for FOTW (Flags of the World). Many beautiful flags there.
Those old U. . flags are DULL, DULL, DULL. DO IT!
Check out: < www.newmnflag.com >

Max Miller

This is great. My favorites are the Alabama/Florida, South Carolina and California state flags.


As a major flag enthusiast, I come back to this piece constantly. It should be my homepage. Just linked to it on my flag blog, on our most recent post about state flags.


You have a very nice furniture writing style that I appreciate. bean bags are a great way to show your point and the furniture and chairs are very comfortable in the home visit bean bag nerd's homepage sofa and couches in living room


I like the flag of South Carolina because it's design has Islamic touch.
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volvic Sometimes State Flags...

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